A couple who recently came to The Ravines expressed, “We’re afraid to go home!”
We get that! The Ravines intentionally provides time away from the day-to-day stressors. No kids, work and minimal electronics. In addition to proven Christian counseling, we provide space for couples to reconnect.
Many of us went to church camp as kids and we remember the Friday night bonfire when we made decisions and commitments. We went home all excited, but nothing there had changed. Our parents still didn’t get along; there were still friend issues – bullying, gossiping and peer pressure. We went home with great intentions. And while some of those commitments “held,” many were lost as real life kicked back in.
We work hard to prevent this from happening after The Ravines. The negative consequences of forgetting those new commitments can range from going back to bad habits to giving up and moving toward divorce.
While couples are with us, they are relieved from normal responsibilities like childcare, cooking and cleaning. Childcare is happening back at home with loving relatives or friends. As for cooking and cleanup, our hosts work very hard to serve our couples with wonderful food, snacks and an abundance of coffee (lots and lots of coffee). Our couples have one task – to work on their marriage. Whatever their specific situation, our couples are in need of a space for focused attention.
Does that mean The Ravines provides a vacation? No way! They are engaged in difficult and emotional work, which is exhausting. We always tell them, “The Ravines is a beautiful place to do hard work!”
We help prepare them to go home. Each couple sets goals for themselves – something they can refer to when they return to the reality of balancing kids, work and even church responsibilities. We provide them with tools to help meet those goals – new ways of connecting to one another and resources applicable to their specific situation.
Their counselor calls them in about 30 days after they leave. “Are you working on your goals?” Are you using the tools you were given?”
Every couple is encouraged to find a Mentor Couple at home – a couple to hold them accountable to their goals and to pray for them. We encourage them to meet with their Mentor Couple at least every other week for about three months, or until those new ways of relating become new habits.
So should they be afraid to go home? That is a healthy, realistic fear. Hopefully, that “fear” will motivate them to make good choices and keep up the momentum they began at The Ravines.
If your marriage needs help or if a marriage in your sphere of influence is in need, give us a call for a confidential conversation. We’re here to help.